I’ve been thinking about teaching art lately. In my experience when people ask you to teach them drawing or art they usually preface it with a tentative apology or preface what they say with sad explanations. One of the most common is; “I can’t draw but…” Usually when you ask them where they got their information it turns out some teacher or adult told them that in kindergarten or grade school. Rather than be encouraged they were discouraged. Probably by people who were told the same thing when they were eight or so.
I think most people just want permission. They want to be told that it’s all right to want to learn something such as drawing for whatever reason, even if they don’t plan on becoming a world famous artist.
I was wondering about this conspiracy of discouragement that seems to permeate the culture in America and wonder where it’s from and why it exists?
Now art is the only thing I’m passably good at, so not being able to do it, or listening to folks that attempt to tell someone else they can’t draw is a kind of mystery to me. Why anyone would want to listen to someone tell them that what they did was stupid or lame if the speaker give no evidence of being able to do it themselves?
I suppose there is a certain contingent of serious academically trained art critics that think such trash talk is merely proof that I am some kind of uneducated lower class buffoon for suggesting that a cook shouldn’t be able to say something about a recently baked croissant if they can’t bake one.
Safe to say that art is not a theoretical exercise but actually involves eye hand coordination with a set of special tools used with special knowledge and if one can’t actually make a painting say, then one shouldn’t bad mouth those who do or make up psudo-philosophical/psychological reasons as to why it doesn’t meet some kind of suddenly officially recognized set of aesthetic criteria that the critic copied out of a book for a test when they were in school.